To us, the desert horizon has always been a source of inspiration, as it has a unique warmth, depth and calmness that takes one in a meditative state.
The Al Faya Lodge perfectly translates that feeling, as it is set at the foot of Mount Alvaah, nestled into the United Arab Emirates’s prehistoric crimson desert landscape with close proximity to the region’s first petroleum pump.
This luxurious lodge is the latest addition to The Sharjah Collection – a group of boutique hotels and eco-retreats purposefully located in key locations throughout the Sharjah Emirate.
Architect Jonathan Ashmore and his Dubai and London-based practice ANARCHITECT are the master-puppeteers of the experience this lodge provides, through its architecture and design.
To think that this two single-story, stone-built buildings are actually from the 1960s and that they previously represented your benign grocery store and clinic, it’s really impressive!
There’s a contrast created between the original fabric of the existing buildings and the current design interventions, ANARCHITECT managing to draw a line between that what is old and what is new.
It is important to consider the climate factors when designing such building, using suitable and robust materials that are appropriate for extreme heat and sun exposure, as Jonathan Ashmore, practice principal, debates.
Locally sourced stone or concrete construction provide heavy thermal mass to deal with the extreme temperature fluctuations.
Surface materials like Corten steel and secondary structure materials like robust hardwoods and aluminum add refinement and precision to the design particularly for over-sailing roofs, shading elements and terrace decks raised above the level of the sands.”
The retreat includes a dining, reception room, library & roof terrace. From each and every room you can clearly see the skylight, perfect for star-gazing, while the most luxurious room has the added experience of a private roof terrace and dual aspect.
For a perfect breakfast you can visit the restaurant, which is located on the other side of the property and includes a dining room, outdoor terrace, fire-pit and a public roof terrace.
Al Faya Lodge is such an incredibile project, that ANARCHITECT have really managed to outdone themselves with.
The buildings are divided by a road which creates an unusual and dynamic urbanity to this retreat. The buildings together with the historical petroleum pump give a presence to the road in this scarce desert landscape, which, let’s be fair, it has such a cinematic feel.
Area: 500 m²
Photographs: Fernando Guerra
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Parklex International S.L., Delta Light, Kohler, Roda, ANARCHITECT, Auodesk, Corten, Manital, Trimble
Information source: ArchDaily.